|Dr. Robert Puff|
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#2473 - Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Here is a dialogue between a questioner and Jerry Katz. The writer's name has been replaced with [the writer].
I don't understand this quote by Nisargadatta.
"As I only know the contents of my consciousness, and as an outside world is unprovable, all
perceivables are only in my mind."
Does this mean that the world exists is in [the writer's] mind? Does it mean that there are no
starving people in Africa, no Tibet, no USA, since I'm not there right now to experience it?
I would be thankful for a reply to this one, since I have found myself thinking over this a lot.
See if the video at the link below makes any sense. I think it explains what Nisargadatta is
saying. It tries to show that there is only the Absolute, or Truth, or Reality, or God, whatever
term you prefer. In this video they use the term Allah. Just replace Allah with whatever term you
like. It could be Christ, Krishna, God, Ultimate Reality, or whatever.
But, really, you might be in Africa holding a dying child in your arms, and he is looking into your
eyes: what is that exactly, and where are you? Is it about Africa and starvation? Are you thinking,
"Wow, I'm in Africa and here's a starving child." Where do those thoughts come from and do they
express the actual reality of the moment? Anyway, check out this video if you feel like it:
I saw the video and I think I got most of it. I understand that there is one awareness, God or
Allah that makes my mind see this world. But isn't it so that the world is in all our minds, not
just in [the writer's] mind?
Yes, I believe the teaching is that Allah or God is not separate in any portion or fraction from
what our minds actually are. Yet there appear to be separate minds and infinite separate things, no
two things the same. At the same time -- and I really mean at the same time, not at a separate time
or in a separate place or on a separate order or within a separate context -- there is only God.
And God or Allah is ... nothing. Formless.
To use a golden oldy of metaphors, God is like the ocean and everything else is like the waves.
Every unique form, and they are infinite, is not separate from formless God, just as no wave is
separate from the ocean. That's what the scriptures point to. That understanding resolves the
doubts that arise when we think there are other things out there that are separate from our minds
and awareness. The video is one way of getting to an understanding of the formless God that is not
separate from the form of the human body, the form of world, and the form of all existence.
In the quote -- "As I only know the contents of my consciousness, and as an outside world is
unprovable, all perceivables are only in my mind." -- Nisargadatta hasn't told the rest of story.
The rest of the story is that there is only God, Allah, or awareness. "As all waves are in the
ocean, so are all things physical and mental in awareness. Hence awareness itself is all-important,
not the content of it," Nisargadatta says elsewhere.
I mean if I meet you then you see a picture in your mind of [the writer]. And at the same time I
got a picture in my mind of "you".
JK'S RESPONSE (continued):
None of it is separate from Allah. Our minds perceive the work of Allah. We should know that our
minds, that perception itself, that what is perceived, is all out there to deal with, to work with,
to suffer, to enjoy. But none of it is separate from Allah ever, not ever. That's the thing to get,
as far as I know. It's not enough to know that awareness created everything. It's not satisfying to
know that there are separate things out there. It is necessary to know that the two are not ever
separate. Those things that appear to be separate are actually awareness, and awareness is actually
those things that appear to be separate, such as Africa and all that we know as tragic or
otherwise. There is no separation.
That's the message of nonduality, that there are "not-two." Nonduality means "not two," which means
nothing is separate from God or awareness, though things appear to be separate. If you were
absolutely certain that there was only God, first and last, and that what you perceived was not
separate from God in any way, although they appear to be separate, would your questions arise?
The thing is to fully get the deal that there is only God and that nothing perceived is separate
from God. That's an extremely ultimate and powerful thing to know. Knowing it, how could any
questions arise, other than things like, "How do I get this damn digital camera to work?"
Thank you Jerry for the long reply. I think I got it now. I hope I do. It's like when I meet you,
[The writer] sees a picture in his mind, Jerry sees another picture. But both our pictures, both
our minds are in the one source, in Allah, in God. We are in essense the same, even though we as
[the writer] and Jerry got different minds and different stories, both [the writer] and Jerry are
in the the one source, and the source is really who we are in essence.
We try to speak the knowledge of nonduality, but we are creating more waves that come and go. Once
in a while someone, such as Nisargadatta, through their word, through their life, generates a
perfect wave that rolls across generations.
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